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HAT, and how great, the virtue and the art To live on little with a chearful heart; ( A doctrine sage , but truly none of mine) Let's talk , my friends, but taik before we dine, Not when a gilt buffet's reflected pride Turns
from sound philosophy atide ; Not when from plate to plate your eye-balls roll, And the brain dances to the mantling bowl.
Hear Bethel's sermon, one not vers'd in schools, But strong in fenfe, and wise without the rules.
Go work , hunt, exercise! (he thus began)
Then scorn a homely dinner, if you can.
Your wine lock'd up, your butler strollid abroad,
Or fish deny'd ( the river yet unthawod)
If then plain bread and milk will do the feat,
The pleasure lies in you , and not the meat.
Preach as I please, I doubt our curious men
Will chuse a pheasant still before a hen;
Yet hens of Guinea full as good I hold ,
Except you eat the feathers green and gold.
and mullers why prefer the great, ( Tho'cut in pieces ere my lord can eat) Yet for small turbots such esteem profess?
Because God made these large, the other less.
Oldfield with more than harpy throat endu’d,
Cries : «Send me, Gods! a whole hog barbecu'd >>
Oh blast it, south-winds! till a stench exhale
Rank as the ripeness of a rabbit's tail.
By what criterion do you eat, d’ye think,
If this is priz’d for sweetness, that for stink?
When the tir'd giutton labours thro' a treat,
He finds no relish in the sweetest meat,
He calls for something bitter, something four,
And the rich feast concludes extremely poor :
Cheap eggs, and herbs, and olives still we see ;
Thus much is left of old simplicity!
The robin-red-breaft till of late had rest,
And children sacred held a martin's nest,
Till becca-ficos sold so dev'lish dear
To one that was, or would have been , a peer.
Let me extol a cat, on oysters fed,
I'll have a party at the Bedford-head;
Or ev'n to crack live crawfish recommend;
I'd never doubt at court to make a friend.
'Tis yet in vain, I own, to keep a pother
About one vice , and fall into the other :
Between excess and famine lies a mean ;
Plain, but not sordid ; tho* not fplendid , clean,
Avidien, or his wife ( no matter which,
For him you'll call a dog, and her a bitch)
Sell their presented partridges, and fruits,
And humbly live on rabbits and on roots :
One half-pint bottle serves them both to dine
And is at once their vinegar and wine,
But on some lucky day ( as when they found
A loft bank-bill, or heard their son was drown'd)
At such a feast, ald vinegar to spare,
Is what two souls so gen'rous cannot bear :
Oil, tho’ it stink , they drop by drop impart,
But sowse the cabbage with a bounteous heart.
He knows to live , who keeps the middle state,
And neither leans on this fide , nor on that;
Nor stops, for one bad cork , his butler's pay,
Swears, like Albutius , a good cook away;
Nor lets , like Nævius , ev'ry error pass,
The musty wine , foul cloth, or greafy glass.
Now hear what blessings temperance can bring :
(Thus faid our friend, and what he said I sing.)
First health : the stomach ( cramm’d from ev'ry dish,
A tomb of boil'd and roast, and flesh and fish,
Where bile, and wind , and phlegm, and acid jar,
And all the man is one intestine war )
Remembers of the school-boy's simple fare,
The temp’rate sleeps, and spirits light as air.
How pale , each worshipful and rev’rend guest
Rise from a clergy, or a city feast!
What life in all that ample body, say?
What heav'nly particle inspires the clay?
The foul subsides, and wickedly inclines
To seem but mortal, ev’n in sound divines.
On morning wings how active springs the mind
That leaves the load of yesterday behind!
How easy ev'ry labour it pursues!
How coming to the poet ev'ry Mute!
Not but we may exceed, some holy time,